The gardens of the Watchtower Farms complex not far from where the chemical waste was buried

Reports are emerging through the Associated Press that the Watch Tower Society may face penalties over chemical waste that was buried many years ago near the Watchtower Farms complex in upstate New York.

The Times Herald-Record reports that several 55-gallon drums containing benzene, xylene, and other chemicals hazardous to human health have been unearthed. The drums were retrieved at three different sites across the 1,141 acre property, but the scale of the pollution and full scope of the clean-up operation is not yet known.

Matt Hubicki, a representative for the Department of Environmental Conservation, revealed that the drums were found by Watchtower volunteers during construction works. “They found some drums while digging the foundation for one of their residential facilities” he told the newspaper. To their credit, it appears the Society immediately reported the find to the DEC. Nonetheless, the discovery raises serious question marks over the Society’s environmental track record, especially given its scathing criticism of those who pollute the environment.

The Watchtower Farms site is situated in the Hudson River Watershed area, meaning that any contaminants released into the soil from the antiquated drums could easily wind up in local drinking water.

It is uncertain exactly how and when the drums were buried, but it appears that the drums, filled with chemical waste including inks and solvents, were buried over a certain period in the Society’s history dating as far back as the 70s in an apparent attempt to “cut corners” rather than dispatching the pollutants to the appropriate waste disposal facility.

The Watch Tower Society often quotes from Revelation 11:18 which reads:

But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth. – New World Translation

The above scripture is repeatedly used to show that God disapproves of mankind’s pollution of the environment, for which those responsible will be called to account at Armageddon. The Society also published an Awake article entitled “Chemical Dumps Are Ticking Timebombs” in the November 22nd 1980 issue of the Awake, which said in part:

One huge dumping site was an abandoned water canal in New York State (U.S.A.) near famous Niagara Falls. The waterway was named after its builder, William Love, who, back in 1894, attempted to join two rivers and create a model city. His dream failed and all that remained was Love Canal, an uncompleted mile-long (1.6 km) ditch, 10 to 40 feet deep and generally 45 feet wide.

By the tons, chemical waste, most packaged in 55-gallon (208-L) drums, were cast by a new owner into Mr. Love’s canal. From the 1920’s through 1953 Hooker Chemical Company reportedly admitted to dumping 21,800 tons of chemicals there. The city of Niagara Falls added its share. So allegedly did the U.S. Army. Then in 1953 this witches’ brew was covered with earth and allowed to “cook” as barrels rotted and the chemicals combined.

The land was “sold” by Hooker Chemical to the Board of Education of Niagara Falls for $1.00 (U.S.). A school and housing development were built on the site. Soon a pleasant neighborhood settled on this massive chemical graveyard.

The “time bomb” was set, and now ticking. It was destined to “explode” with such impact that this spot would become front-page news and the focus of international attention. It became what may “very well be the first of a new and sinister breed of environmental disasters,” according to a special report sent to the governor of New York State.

Does this incident provide substantial evidence that man is “ruining the earth,” unlike in any other period in history? Does it perhaps portend that soon God will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth” by divine action? These are significant questions to ponder as you read what chemical wastes have done.—Rev. 11:18.

As has been mentioned, we currently have no way of knowing over what period the Watch Tower Society was in the practice of burying its chemical waste. It is likely that this illicit practice was going on as far back as the 70s. If this is true, then it would make the above Awake article, and the many more recent books and articles dealing with pollution, extremely hypocritical to say the least. – Matthew 23:27






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12 thoughts on “Watch Tower Faces Clean-up Bill For “Ruining The Earth”

  • May 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Lol @ your headline! Good one.

    Maybe they were short on donations the year they buried the drums. :)

    As for ruining the earth, I’m sure, besides chemical pollution, that that has more to do with the future nuke wars, WW3 & 4, destroying the food supply with GMO seeds, HAARP, Scalar Wave technology, weather warfare, etc.

    We (as a former dub) used to tell people there would never be a WW3. Do JWs still say that? If so, they are in for a rude awake-ning before it’s all over.

    • March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      You are correct on this little list and there are more variables,and it is far far worse than I ever imagined.

  • October 23, 2012 at 6:52 am

    yeah i think called armagedon

  • October 23, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Amazing! They will promptly report barrels of potentially dangerous chemicals to authorities in accord with the law because they may pose a threat to them personally but those that they are charged with the oversight over such as children and the weak and the Mentally Ill can be Raped, victimized and brutalized 25hrs a day…they will do everything within their power and within and without the law to evade any possible responsibility and accountability…as if they ever could!

  • March 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    This is sad to know, since they did brag about being so environmental friendly, and were critical of pollution. My friend lives in Wallkill,and I used to live in Middletown NY . :(

  • July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Drink life’s waters from the watchtowers cistern and you will surely die!

  • September 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Any update on this story? This is the sort of situation that cannot be shrugged off by the GB.

    I hope the society is sued for the cost of making the chemicals safe and cleaning up the environment.

    Knowing how idiotic they are, they probably expected an angel to magically sort it all out for them!

  • September 17, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Last November the brach office in St Petersburg got in trouble for “exceeding the maximum permissible concentrations established for lignosulfate ammonium fluorine, COD” in dumping waste into a body of water that leads to the Gulf of Finland (which leads to the Baltic Sea, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean). I heard about the story when it first came out, but nothing since then. The official story is at It’s the official website of the Prosecutor’s Office of St Petersburg, so it’s in Russian, but I did come across a couple English news reports about it.
    Of course the news site, because they want to be like the Bible writers whom they hold so highly for willingly revealing all their own sins and the sins of their people, gave the story full publicity. The Governing Body personally apologized and admitted the error, just like Jackson said they do. Oh wait, nevermind.

  • September 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    A small but important correction from my comment. The Google translation of the Russian article translated it as “fluorine”. I’m not sure if that’s a Google mistake or if the website actually used the Russian word for fluorine. Either way it is supposed to say “fluoride”. Pure fluorine has only 1 electron shell (aside from its inner 2 electrons) which has 7 electrons. This makes it the most reactive element on the period table of elements. Fluoride, on the other hand, is the name used when the outer shell is filled by an 8th electron. Then it is no longer reactive, hence not as dangerous (for example fluoride can often be found in toothpaste, which is why it is recommended to only use a little bit of toothpaste when brushing). Ammonium fluoride is used in printing, which is why the branch office would have been in possession of it. So it’s not nearly as bad as pouring pure fluorine into the river (which they wouldn’t have been in possession of anyway), but still not good for the water. Anyway, just wanted to clarify that.

  • January 18, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    When i heard this story, it opened my eyes to further investigation and thinking. NO ONE HAS THOUGHT THIS OUT !
    1) WTBTS knew the safety data sheets (the toxins)
    2) Bethel workers saw those papers
    3) Food for Bethel workers came from the farm
    4) The toxins were put into the farm, without mapping the “dumps”. A possible crime
    5) Possible exposure(s) to the toxins in Bethel (working) & the possible hidden in food. Long term health problems possible.
    6) Why weren’t the toxins, disposed of in a proper landfill? Was it to save $$, or was it pure belief that Jehovah would soon clean up the earth and it didn’t matter?
    7) The GB responsible for these actions (any still alive) should be disfellowshipped under their own rules. b) Clearly “love”, and the health of the family was not considered and under earthly law actions (EPA etc) should be considered.

    This is a wake up call to open up a proper discussion regarding this matter.

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